Harvard Hosts Summer Program with Hamas-Affiliated University
Birzeit University is a Palestinian school in the West Bank that considers itself a “thorn in the side of the occupation.” Only three days after the terrorist group Hamas brutally attacked Israel, the university posted on X that the attack was due to the “numerous assaults of the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinians, especially against its educational institutions.” The post also called for the “glory for martyrs.”
According to The Daily Wire, the school “has a student body that overwhelmingly elected a Hamas-affiliated bloc to run its student government.” It is this same school that Harvard is set to send students to over the summer to learn about “settler colonialism” and other related topics. The 2023 course overview says the class is called “Palestine Social Medicine,” and its objective is to emphasize the “engagement and understanding of the social and structural drivers of health in Palestinian society.”
In response to the upcoming course, some Harvard students have expressed concerns over their school’s anti-Semitic track record and Birzeit’s affiliation with terrorists. But Stephanie Simon, Harvard’s dean for Communications and Strategic Initiatives, insisted that Birzeit’s connections with Hamas will not affect the program. However, the university’s affiliation with terrorists extends far beyond Hamas.
In 2022, some Birzeit students were arrested after providing money to Hamas for a terrorist attack. The university is also known for praising several terrorists over the years, including Marwan Barghouti, who was considered the leader of the First and Second Intifada and killed five people, as well as Yahya Ayyash, who is known for engineering suicide bombs.
The Harvard faculty who are leading and serving as instructors for the program have also made anti-Israel statements, such as the war being “U.S.-backed genocide.” Additionally, all five faculty members in the program co-wrote an academic article that was published in 2022, which claimed, “In Palestine, as elsewhere, no straightforward blueprint exists for health equity.” They also wrote that “health equity is possible only with the abolition of all oppressive structures that ensure Jewish supremacy and Palestinian inferiority from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”
One of the reasons anti-Semitism is so rife on college campuses, experts say, is because of its deep ties to critical race theory. Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, discussed with The Washington Stand how universities consider CRT “a collegiate or graduate school concept.” In doing so, she emphasized, they “imply that it is appropriate” within the school. However, she urged that could not be further from the truth.
Kilgannon emphasized that CRT promotes “racial hatred, anti-Semitism and colonizer-oppressed narratives,” all of which “are not appropriate in any setting.” She concluded, “These kinds of courses are often priced at a premium which benefits only the university. Students paying top dollar for Ivy League tutoring by terrorists like Hamas is not my idea of education.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.